Is DSM-IV criterion A2 associated with PTSD diagnosis and symptom severity?
ABSTRACT The diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received significant scrutiny. Several studies have investigated the utility of Criterion A2, the subjective emotional response to a traumatic event. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has proposed elimination of A2 from the PTSD diagnostic criteria for DSM-5; however, there is mixed support for this recommendation and few studies have examined A2 in samples at high risk for PTSD such as veterans. In the current study of 908 veterans who screened positive for a traumatic event, A2 was not significantly associated with having been told by a doctor that the veteran had PTSD. Those who endorsed A2, however, reported greater PTSD symptom severity in the 3 DSM-IV symptom clusters of reexperiencing (d = 0.45), avoidance (d = 0.61), and hyperarousal (d = 0.44), and A2 was significantly associated with PTSD symptom severity for all 3 clusters (R(2) = .25, .25, and .27, respectively) even with trauma exposure in the model. Thus, although A2 may not be a necessary criterion for PTSD diagnosis, its association with PTSD symptom severity warrants further exploration of its utility.
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ABSTRACT: Controversy exists about the utility of DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) criterion A2 (A2): that exposure to a potentially traumatic experience (PTE; PTSD criterion A1) is accompanied by intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Lifetime DSM-IV PTSD was assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview in community surveys of 52,826 respondents across 21 countries in the World Mental Health Surveys. Of 28,490 representative PTEs reported by respondents, 37.6% met criterion A2, a proportion higher than the proportions meeting other criteria (B-F; 5.4%-9.6%). Conditional prevalence of meeting all other criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD given a PTE was significantly higher in the presence (9.7%) than absence (.1%) of A2. However, as only 1.4% of respondents who met all other criteria failed A2, the estimated prevalence of PTSD increased only slightly (from 3.64% to 3.69%) when A2 was not required for diagnosis. Posttraumatic stress disorder with or without criterion A2 did not differ in persistence or predicted consequences (subsequent suicidal ideation or secondary disorders) depending on presence-absence of A2. Furthermore, as A2 was by far the most commonly reported symptom of PTSD, initial assessment of A2 would be much less efficient than screening other criteria in quickly ruling out a large proportion of noncases. Removal of A2 from the DSM-IV criterion set would reduce the complexity of diagnosing PTSD, while not substantially increasing the number of people who qualify for diagnosis. Criterion A2 should consequently be reconceptualized as a risk factor for PTSD rather than as a diagnostic requirement.Biological psychiatry 09/2010; 68(5):465-73. · 8.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We compared single- and multi-item measures of general self-rated health (GSRH) to predict mortality and clinical events a large population of veteran patients. We analyzed prospective cohort data collected from 21,732 patients as part of the Veterans Affairs Ambulatory Care Quality Improvement Project (ACQUIP), a randomized controlled trial investigating quality-of-care interventions. We created an age-adjusted, logistic regression model for each predictor and outcome combination, and estimated the odds of events by response category of the GSRH question and compared the discriminative ability of the predictors by developing receiver operator characteristic curves and comparing the associated area under the curve (AUC)/c-statistic for the single- and multi-item measures. All patients were sent a baseline assessment that included a multi-item measure of general health, the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36), and an inventory of comorbid conditions. We compared the predictive and discriminative ability of the GSRH to the SF-36 physical component score (PCS), the mental component score (MCS), and the Seattle index of comorbidity (SIC). The GSRH is an item included in the SF-36, with the wording: "In general, would you say your health is: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor?" The GSRH, PCS, and SIC had comparable AUC for predicting mortality (AUC 0.74, 0.73, and 0.73, respectively); hospitalization (AUC 0.63, 0.64, and 0.60, respectively); and high outpatient use (AUC 0.61, 0.61, and 0.60, respectively). The MCS had statistically poorer discriminatory performance for mortality and hospitalization than any other other predictors (p<.001). The GSRH response categories can be used to stratify patients with varying risks for adverse outcomes. Patients reporting "poor" health are at significantly greater odds of dying or requiring health care resources compared with their peers. The GSRH, collectable at the point of care, is comparable with longer instruments.Health Services Research 08/2005; 40(4):1234-46. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder has been criticized on numerous grounds, but principally for three reasons (a) the alleged pathologizing of normal events, (b) the inadequacy of Criterion A, and (c) symptom overlap with other disorders. The authors review these problems along with arguments why the diagnosis is nevertheless worth retaining in an amended form. A proposal for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is put forward that involves abolishing Criterion A, narrowing the B criteria to focus on the core phenomena of flashbacks and nightmares, and narrowing the C and D criteria to reduce overlap with other disorders. The potential advantages and disadvantages of this formulation are discussed.Journal of Traumatic Stress 10/2009; 22(5):366-73. · 2.72 Impact Factor